The Effects of Building Shadow and Human Disturbance of Ponderosa Pine Forest Herbaceous Understory
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Human activity displaces species and harms ecosystems, but to what degree? Little focus has been placed on the effects of human and building shadow disturbance on herbaceous understory in the northern Arizona ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest. At a newly built research station, this experiment used transects to examine percent cover of herbaceous vegetation at three different levels of disturbance surrounding a research station. I expected that herbaceous cover would be greatest at intermediate level of disturbance following the intermediate disturbance hypothesis that states an intermediate amount of disturbance will create high diversity in species. However, this hypothesis was not supported, rather the control and the disturbed sites were not significantly different from each other. The experiment is a good base-line study for the disturbed area. It should be conducted yearly to witness over time how the area is affected by disturbance. In general, more studies need to be conducted in order to determine the consequences of human and building shadow disturbance on herbaceous understory.
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